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How to Declutter in 10 Easy Steps

Updated on June 6, 2009

I come from a family of pack rats! I inherited the clutter gene! That means I tend to hang on to stuff - clothing, printed material, books, kitchenware, you name it! I realize that we all tend to keep some significant to us"stuff" - some of this "stuff" I am thankful I held on to, but other things I have no business still being in possession of!

If you don't know where to start, here are 10 steps to make your decluttering task not seem so overwhelming.

  1. Be in the right frame of mind to get rid of things. Adopt a minimalist mindset. Remember to stop working on your decluttering effort when you tend to question and hold on to things.
  2. If you wake up at 3 AM with insomnia, try cleaning out a drawer or closet.
  3. Get rid of things that need to be glued back together ( this includes refrigerator magnets and legs on collectible figurines.) If you did not take the time to fix it within the first week and stuck it in a drawer, it will work its way to the back and be forgotten.
  4. Get rid of plastic containers or lids that don't have mates.
  5. Recycle clothing that you have not wore in a year.
  6. Survey your garden and if you have a surplus of empty flower pots, plant them and brighten up your yard or give them away.
  7. Reorganize and clean out your garage on a quarterly basis.
  8. If your home does not have library shelves, sell books you don't need on
  9. Regift items that are brand new and unopened, when appropriate.
  10. If you are paying money for a storage unit, try to evaluate whether or not it is really worth paying a monthly rent for the value of the stuff inside.


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    • Mighty Mom profile image

      Susan Reid 7 years ago from Where Left is Right, CA

      Some really creative ideas here -- I am guilty of being a semi-pack rat myself. And the areas where I'm actually not one, my husband is (he never met a book he didn't want!). I love the idea of putting that insomnia time to good use.

      Thanks for these tips.


    • Catlyn profile image

      Catlyn 8 years ago from Somewhere in the OC

      Born Again - Appreciate you stopping by and commenting on the Hub. Life is a perpetual declutter!


    • Born Again 05 profile image

      Born Again 05 8 years ago from Honesdale

      Thanks for sharing some good tips. I will try to put some into practice!

    • quietnessandtrust profile image

      quietnessandtrust 8 years ago


      I am laughing because I live with one and if we clean out the shed, she just buys more stuff and fills it up. And drawers, lol...this woman saves old prescription bottles in 3 places, some are years old and the reason is, "I might need them for reference"...if they are a point of ref. put them in the computer!!!

      hahahahahaa.....this drives me crazy!!!

      I finally quit cleaning the shed out and I spend no more money on crap either.

      She makes "to do lists" and when they are all done, guess what, she saves them in a drawer in the kitchen, we have a pile a foot tall of lists all scratched out....this is madness.

      Great hub Cathy.

    • Ivorwen profile image

      Ivorwen 8 years ago from Hither and Yonder

      If only doing were as simple as reading about doing!

    • Catlyn profile image

      Catlyn 8 years ago from Somewhere in the OC

      Vladimir, Thanks for the kind words. Experience is a great teacher!

      Men are dorks - having a garage sale serves well as another way to unload. You know what they say, "one man's junk is another man's treasure."

    • men are dorks profile image

      men are dorks 8 years ago from Namibia

      Horrible job, but has to be done every once in a while...

    • Vladimir Uhri profile image

      Vladimir Uhri 8 years ago from HubPages, FB

      Catlyn, you are wise woman.